Politically Dynamic & Empowered Immigrant African Community
Politically Dynamic & Empowered Immigrant African Community

Constitution & Bylaws

African Coalition Political Action Committee, Houston, Texas
 

CONSTITUTION


Ratified on April 4, 2008

PREAMBLE

ARTICLE I. Organization and Status

ARTICLE II. Objectives

ARTICLE III. Membership

ARTICLE IV. Dues

ARTICLE V. Officers

ARTICLE VI. Election and Voting

ARTICLE VII. Board of Directors

ARTICLE VIII. Meetings

ARTICLE IX. Discipline

ARTICLE X. Tenure of Office

ARTICLE XI. Finance

ARTICLE XII. Amendments

PREAMBLE
We, immigrant Africans, desiring to trust and enjoy the fellowship of one another, aspiring to promote the interests and welfare of one another, motivated and guided by a deep sense of integrity and honesty, committed to excellence in performance, and determined to build a stronger socio-economic and political African community in Houston, Texas and around the world, do pledge to promote the unity, progress and empowerment of immigrant Africans in the United States and diaspora for a peaceful coexistence based on equality, unity and justice.

We shall forever cherish the invaluable contributions of civil rights pioneers, who worked tirelessly not only to end slavery and discriminatory laws but also to empower African descendants and ethnic minorities in general. We are cognizant of the many patriots who paid the ultimate price for freedom so that posterity can strive for opportunity and enjoy the fruits of their own labor in a peaceful environment. Because we recognize that their sacrifice is not in vain, we have accepted the challenge to continue the struggle with the overarching goal of addressing the needs of our people.

It is against this backdrop that we hereby resolve to form a political action committee on this 13th day of June 2003. The tenets of said committee are detailed below:

ARTICLE I. Organization and status
1.1 The name of the organization shall be known and called African Coalition Political Action Committee (“African Coalition PAC” or “ACPAC”).
1.2 The ACPAC shall be operated as a non-profit organization, located in and governed by the statutes and regulations of the State of Texas.
1.3 The organization shall be headquartered at Houston, Texas.

1.4 Vision: A peaceful and law-abiding community of immigrant Africans, who work, raise their families, and actively participate in the civic and political processes of the United States of America

1.5 Mission: To empower the immigrant African community in all spheres of life through promotion of political and civic participation
1.6 Motto: Political empowerment of Africans in the United States and around the world

ARTICLE II. Objectives
2.1 To uphold and preserve the committee as a political organization
2.2 To promote and support democracy
2.3 To deliberate on issues affecting immigrant Africans
2.4 To bolster the political and socio-economic progress of immigrant Africans
2.5 To work diligently to bridge the communication gap between the African community and other entities and institutions
2.6 To interact with other organizations to promote peace, stability, unity, justice, and equality, while working actively to promote the interests of immigrant Africans
2.7 To encourage Africans to participate in civic and political processes in an effort to empower the community; prepare an enabling environment for growth; and leverage all pertinent resources for equal access and self-sufficiency
2.8 To identify, screen, interview, endorse, and vote for political candidates who are willing to work with the African community and address its needs
2.9 To dialogue with elected officials about issues that impact the African community
2.10 To work with law enforcement agencies to secure and preserve the safety of our community
2.11 To foster good relationships between the African community and various governmental entities at the local, county, state and federal levels
2.12 To engage in electioneering activities including but not limited to:
2.12a receptions
2.12b fundraising
2.12c volunteering for political campaigns
2.12d community briefings/town hall meetings
2.12e forums for elected officials and political candidates

ARTICLE III. Membership
Membership is open to all immigrant Africans, in the United States of America, who are eighteen (18) years or older and are willing and able to pay all membership dues and fees.

ARTICLE IV. Dues
All members including the executive shall pay annual membership dues. The dues amount shall be determined by the membership.

ARTICLE V. Officers
The officers of the organization shall comprise a President, a Treasurer, a Secretary, and one or more officers.

ARTICLE VI. Election and voting
To be eligible for office, a member must have fulfilled all financial obligations to the organization up to the time of election and must be an active registered member, as defined in the bylaws.

ARTICLE VII. Board of Directors
The board of directors shall comprise a Chairman, the President of the organization, plus three or more directors, some or all of whom may be external to the organization.

ARTICLE VIII. Meetings
Meetings shall be held regularly and as needed by the organization. The general membership shall determine the quorum, venue, and frequency of the meetings.

ARTICLE IX. Discipline
The membership reserves the right to counsel and discipline members who are in violation of the rules as defined in the bylaws of the organization.

ARTICLE X. Tenure of Office
Officers shall hold office for a period to be determined by the membership.

ARTICLE XI. Finance
The organization shall derive its funds primarily from membership dues paid by the members.

ARTICLE XII. Amendments

Amendments to the constitution shall be made when the need arises.

BYLAWS
African Coalition Political Action Committee, Houston, Texas

Ratified on April 4, 2008

ARTICLE I. Organization and status

ARTICLE II. Objectives

ARTICLE III. Membership

ARTICLE IV. Dues

ARTICLE V Officers

ARTICLE VI. Election and Voting

ARTICLE VII. Board of Directors

ARTICLE VIII. Meetings

ARTICLE IX. Discipline

ARTICLE X. Tenure of Office

ARTICLE XI. Finance

ARTICLE XII. Amendments

ARTICLE I. Organization and status
The name of the organization, a non-profit entity headquartered at Houston, Texas, shall be known and called African Coalition Political Action Committee (“African Coalition PAC” or “ACPAC”).

ARTICLE II. Objectives
To support the goals and policies of the organization as set forth in Article II of the constitution of the ACPAC.

ARTICLE III. Membership
3.1 Membership is open to all immigrant Africans, living in the United States of America, who are eighteen (18) years or older.

3.2 Active members are those members who have paid all membership dues/fees, regularly attend meetings, and participate in the activities of the organization.

3.3 Inactive members are those members who have paid membership dues/fees, but are unable to attend meetings regularly and/or participate in the organization’s activities.

3.4 The organization reserves the right to exclude those who fail to pay their membership dues from some or all activities. In the event that member(s) of the community need the organization’s assistance or intervention, consideration will be given to only those who are up-to-date on payment of their dues or those who support the organization financially or in a quantifiable manner. Exceptions, if any, will be left to the discretion of the general membership.

ARTICLE IV. Dues
4.1 All members including the executive shall pay annual membership dues of one hundred dollars ($100) per calendar year.
4.2 To be considered a registered active member for the fiscal year (January – December), the membership dues must be paid no later than March 31 of each year.
4.3 A late fee of two (2) dollars per month will be imposed on those who fail to pay the dues on or before the March 31 deadline.
4.4 The annual dues are non-refundable.

ARTICLE V. Officers
5.1 The following offices shall be open for election:
5.1a President
5.1b Vice President
5.1c Secretary
5.1d Vice Secretary
5.1e Treasurer
5.2 The President shall:
5.2a preside over all proceedings and meetings,
5.2b represent the organization in all official matters,
5.2c have the power to set up ad-hoc committees,
5.2d be responsible for promoting the progress of the organization,
5.2e correspond with heads of other organizations and entities on matters of interest to or those affecting the organization,
5.2f be responsible for and accountable to the organization in all aspects of its operations, and
5.2g prepare an annual budget
5.3 The Vice President shall:
5.3a serve as the acting presiding officer if the President is absent, is unable to fulfill his/her obligations, or is unavailable;
5.3b help the President to coordinate all activities of the organization; and
5.3c work with the executive to ensure that the organization’s objectives are carried out.
5.4 Secretary shall:
5.4a record and furnish the minutes of the organization’s meetings,
5.4b announce upcoming meetings with their agendas,
5.4c keep and archive the minutes/other records of the organization, and
5.4d work closely with the President to disseminate information on all activities.
5.5 Vice Secretary shall:
5.5a assist the Secretary in the conduct of the organization’s business, and
5.5b step in if the Secretary is unavailable/unable to carry out his/her duties.
5.6 The Treasurer shall:
5.6a provide financial oversight to the organization;
5.6b coordinate and manage all financial transactions of the organization;
5.6c assist the President in preparing an annual budget;
5.6d provide quarterly, yearly, and year-to-date statements on the financial activities of the organization;
5.6e serve as principal signatory in addition to the President; and
5.6f submit all financial records for an independent audit, upon recommendation by the president/executive.

ARTICLE VI. Election and voting
6.1 To be eligible for office, a member must have fulfilled all financial obligations to the organization up to the time of election and must be an active registered member, as defined in the bylaws.
6.2 No member shall run or be voted into office in absentia, except when nominated by two (2) active members in good financial standing.
6.3 Election of officers shall take place by secret ballot.
6.4 Through a process of elimination, officers shall be voted for until a candidate with the higher or highest number of votes emerges. To secure an office, the successful candidate must get the majority of the votes cast, unless the candidate is running unopposed.
6.5 All elected positions shall be contested every two years, no later than the first quarter of the calendar year.

ARTICLE VII. Board of Directors
7.1 The board of directors shall:
7.1a comprise a Chairman, the President of the organization, who shall serve in an ex-officio capacity, plus three or more directors, some or all of whom may be external to the organization;
7.1b be appointed to serve, without limitation, two-year terms;
7.1c assist the organization in raising funds;
7.1d meet no fewer than twice in a calendar year; and
7.1e formulate and shape the policies that will govern the organization.
7.2 The board members, who are external to the organization, shall serve as advisors; are not required to pay dues; and have no membership rights.
7.3 The Chairman shall preside over the meetings and deliberations of the board.
7.4 The Secretary shall record the minutes of the board’s meetings.
7.5 The Secretary shall preside in the absence of the Chairman.

ARTICLE VIII. Meetings
8.1 The types of meetings of the organization shall be:
8.1a general meeting
8.1b executive meeting
8.1c Ad-hoc committee meeting
8.2 The quorum for all general membership meetings shall be the presence of no fewer than three (3) members. The quorum for other meetings shall be left to the discretion of each group.
8.3 General meetings shall be held on the last Friday of every month.
8.4 All meetings shall start promptly at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8:00 p.m., or as directed by the President or designee. Unless extenuating circumstances arise, the general meeting shall start no later than seven minutes (7) after the stated time.
8.5 In case of an exigency, the President or designee may convene a general meeting, as deemed necessary.
8.6 Executive meetings shall be held every calendar quarter. The President shall direct the meetings’ schedule.
8.7 Ad-hoc committee meetings shall be determined by the chairpersons of those committees.
8.8 The notice of the general membership meetings shall be prepared and distributed at least a week before the set date.
8.9 In case of an exigency, an urgent meeting notice shall be relayed to the general membership via the most appropriate and convenient means of communication available.
8.10 The minutes shall be concise, preferably, in bullet form, and shall include:
8.10a date, time and place of the meeting;
8.10b members present; and the
8.10c decisions made in the form of consensus, motions, subsequent voting results, etc.
8.11 The minutes of the previous meeting shall be distributed to each member, preferably, via e-mail, prior to the next meeting.
8.12 The minutes shall be corrected and adopted as soon as a quorum is formed and the meeting is called to order.
8.13 Adoption of the minutes shall be based on factual content and not on grammatical syntax or style.
8.14 The adopted minutes shall be filed as a permanent record of the meetings with the Secretary and a copy shall be kept at the regular meeting place.

ARTICLE IX Discipline
9.1 Any member charged with an act that is contrary to the provisions of the constitution or detrimental to the organization or its image shall have the right to a fair hearing.
9.2 Discipline, if any, shall be imposed after due process is exercised.
9.3 Any member found in violation of provision(s) including but not limited to the following, shall be subjected to disciplinary action:
9.3a breach of any provision of the constitution, anti-organization activities or propaganda, conduct likely to embarrass the organization or subject it to contempt, ridicule, or disrepute, in whatever manner;
9.3b disobedience or negligence in carrying out lawful directives of the organization;
9.3c engaging in dishonest practices or acts that could expose the organization to financial or other liability;
9.3d defrauding the organization;
9.3e excessive unexcused absences from meetings;
9.3f any other activity which would tend to disrupt the peaceful, lawful, and efficient running of the organization, or which is not consistent with the achievements of the objectives of the organization.
9.4 Punishment may be imposed by the organization as a disciplinary measure against any of its members.
9.5 The gravity of the punishment shall depend upon the seriousness and circumstances of each case.
9.6 Punishment to be imposed may include but not limited to the following:
9.6a expulsion from the organization,
9.6b suspension for a specified period from the organization,
9.6c suspension or removal from office,
9.6d debarring from holding office, and
9.6e fine (to be determined by an ad-hoc committee appointed by the executive).
9.7 Any member aggrieved by the decisions of the organization shall have the right to appeal the decision within thirty (30) days.
9.8 Pending the outcome of an appeal regarding expulsion, suspension, or other disciplinary measures, the member shall be placed on suspension.

ARTICLE X. Tenure of Office
10.1 All officers of the organization shall hold office for a term of two years (initial term) and may run again for two more terms, skip one two-year term, and run again, if they choose to.
10.2 Should a vacancy occur in any of the offices, every effort will be made to fill the vacancy, based on availability of qualified candidates. Officers so appointed shall remain in office for the unexpired period of the term.
10.3 An officer may be removed during his/her tenure of office through a vote of “no confidence” passed by a two-third-majority vote of the membership.

ARTICLE XI. Finance
11.1 The Association shall derive its funds primarily from membership dues paid by the members.
11.2 Other monetary contributions shall be set and revised as necessary by the general membership.
11.3 Fundraising activities shall also be organized from time to time.
11.4 The Treasurer shall have the power to sign checks up to a maximum of $1,000.00. Any check in excess of $1,000.00 shall be signed by two people - the Treasurer and the President or Secretary.
11.5 The financial records of the organization shall be kept in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
11.6 All checking and saving accounts shall be set up in Houston, Texas.

ARTICLE XII. Amendments
12.1 Amendments to the constitution may be initiated by a member or by a committee.
12.2 A proposed amendment shall be publicized thirty (30) days in advance.
12.3 The proposed amendment may be voted upon at a general membership meeting and passed with a two-third-majority vote of those present at the meeting.
12.4 The amended constitution shall be updated and distributed to members within thirty (30) days of the amendment.

Officers 2015 - 2016

A. Philip Aitsebaomo

            President

Mosis Willett 
            Vice President

Joyce Olewe
            Treasurer

Aster Eyob
            Secretary

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